Q. I have encountered a number of people in my life who claim Jesus as their savior but who don’t seem to know much about Him or even have any interest in learning. Could they be saved? It feels like oil and water talking to them, and their behavior, opinions and fruit don’t appear to be in sync with Gods word. It honestly feels like they are either faking their belief or just don’t know any better. How do you reach someone like this?
A. Aside from the Lord, no one can really know the spiritual condition of another person but in this case I think some skepticism would be in order. It would be highly unusual for a person to be truly saved and yet have no interest in God’s word. Normally that’s the first place believers go, because they want to know more about the person they’ve fallen in love with.
I think the attitude you speak of is most likely due to the fact that they don’t know any better. For example, if they’ve been taught that we’re saved by being baptized as an infant or by joining a church, then they probably don’t know what it means to be born again. People like this are difficult to reach because they don’t think they have a problem. Someone once said that the greatest obstacle to finding the truth is the assumption that we already have it.
I think the best way to reach someone like this is to go slow and easy, helping them to see what the Bible really says about salvation without accusing them of being wrong in their thinking. They have to come to that realization on their own. It takes a lot of patience, but if you succeed it will have been worth it.
James said, “Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness” (James 3:18).